Whether it’s for a mid-life crisis, to celebrate a new promotion, or simply to make an elevated lifestyle choice, purchasing a sports car is a dream for many, and purchasing an Audi ranks as one of the most sought after incarnations of that dream.
Performance and Design
There’s no mistaking an Audi for anything other than the sport, luxury vehicle that it is, and that perception is highly intentional. Audi values sport, quality construction, and progressive design as the foundations of its company.
As the auto industry undergoes a transformation thanks to vocal disruptors within the space, Audi recognizes that they must too progress, rather than relying on the strategies that have brought them success so far. With their range of cars and motorcycles performing well, the company looks to the future and pursues sustainable models.
A German Staple
Audi was technically founded in 1910, though its creator had already been manufacturing cars for more than a decade under a different brand name at that point. In 1932, four German brands (one of them being Audi) merged to form the Audi Auto Group, which inspired the Audi symbol of four interconnected rings.
Like many German auto manufacturers, Audi faced a great deal of turmoil in the wake of World War II. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Audi found its footing once more, and produced the Audi 100. This reinvigorated the public’s interest in the German sports car brand, and kickstarted decades of prosperity for Audi.
In the 1970s and ‘80s, Audi continuously unveiled wildly popular models, including the first incarnation of its Quattro (a reference to the car’s four-wheel drive capabilities) exhibited excellent traction, even on icy surfaces. Thus Audi had achieved their goal of being perceived as both beautifully and sturdily made, as well as highly functional.
Audi sold nearly 1.8 million cars in 2018, and the company employs more than 90,000 people worldwide. With their eye on carbon-neutral engineering, Audi may transform itself yet again as the industry evolves.
Battling the Home Team
Given the hype that German engineering receives, it should come as no surprise that Audi’s top competitors are two other German auto manufacturers: BMW and Mercedes. These two brands both top Audi in terms of revenue, but that doesn’t mean things won’t change.
All three of the German sports cars suffered a decline after World War II, but it took Audi longer to bounce back; given some more time to mature, and more time to explore new sustainable options, Audi just may win out in this competition.
New Age Endorsements
Audi is a highly recognizable brand, but they have made some surprising moves to gain visibility in recent years. Despite being a luxury brand, Audi partnered with one of Hollywood’s youngest elites—Tom Holland—in 2017, apparently looking to appeal to a younger audience.
Audi may need more than a fresh face to put the scandal known as “Dieselgate” behind them, though. The scandal was actually a matter of Volkswagen deception, where their diesel vehicles were found to have a deception device masking emissions. While Audi wasn’t directly involved, their former executives were, reflecting poorly on the brand which is actually owned in part by VW.
Still, the luxury car brand ranks at number 41 on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands for 2019, with a brand value of more than $14 billion.
A sleek build and high performance are great, but Audi will need to push the boundaries of innovation to stay competitive in today’s auto industry.